CMA Grants HFC License to provide custodial services

HFC, the banking subsidiary of HF Group, has received approval by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to provide custodial services to fund managers, brokers, investment banks, corporates, pension schemes and high net worth individuals, who are active investors either as agents or as principals.

The license now positions HFC to play a larger role in attracting domestic and foreign investments into the local financial markets through providing asset safekeeping and other related custody services to institutional investors. The subsidiary will now offer core custody services, cash management services, escrow custody services, trustee services, and bond trading.

HFC’s Managing Director, Sam Waweru said the license enhances the bank’s full-service banking strategy and provides customers with a one stop shop for their financial needs.

“This license is key to achieving that goal. We also expect to significantly improve our financial position in the medium term by locking in non-funded income revenue streams as well as boosting foreign exchange flows for the business,” Mr. Waweru said.

Mr. Waweru noted that custodial services as a business segment had witnessed strong growth over the last ten years due to incremental local and foreign investor activity, especially within the equities and government debt segments.

“The value of assets under custody have appreciated over time because of a conducive interest rate environment and increased investor confidence. The Capital Markets Authority has also been committed to driving this growth through active engagement with industry stakeholders, including custodians, when introducing new products that are in line with global standards,” Mr. Waweru said.

HFC joins a growing pool of Kenyan and foreign banks involved in the investment segment and is optimistic that its customized solutions, enhanced digital and mobile banking, and a capable team will enable the Bank to make a positive impact in the custodial and investment administration segment.

“Investors want faster turnaround, as well as real-time accessibility and instant reporting. Through our enhanced digital and mobile banking offerings and carefully sourced securities system, we will be able to enhance our general client experience,” he said.

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